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Submission: Inquiry into the Migration and Security Legislation Amendment (Review of Security Assessments) Bill 2012

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has lodged with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee a submission vehemently opposing the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill.

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NSWCCL vehemently opposes excising Australia from the Migration Zone

The New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties has lodged with the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee a submission vehemently opposing the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill.

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State government misses historic opportunity to repeal 'dangerous' bail laws

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties today labelled the State Government response to the Law Reform Commission report on bail a “major disappointment”.

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Annual John Marsden Memorial Lecture 2012

The times they are a-changing: where to for the criminal law in NSW? Nicholas Cowdery - AM QC BA LLB FAAL spoke at the John Marsden Memorial Lecture.

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2012 Annual Dinner

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner.

Professor George Williams AO tonight launched a national campaign led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties to wind back the excessive and disproportionate powers given to ASIO in the decade since 9/11. "The greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II."

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Submission: Data retention and certificates of immunity for ASIO officers and their contacts

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding data retention and certificates of immunity for ASIO officers and their contacts

In this submission, NSWCCL addresses the following points:

  1. Opposing blanket data retention of all Australian's telecommunications metadata
  2. Response to police submissions concerning possible seeking of additional powers
  3. Opposing the proposal that ASIO officers be granted certificates of immunity from civil and criminal liability

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Free speech and the politics of hate

Over 350 people gathered in the CBD Sky Phoenix Restaurant on Friday 19 October 2012 to support the NSWCCL Annual Dinner. David Marr, delivered the keynote address on Free Speech and the Politics of Hate.

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Submission: Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

Questions addressed include:

  1. Is the last resort requirement for a questioning warrant under the ASIO Act too demanding?
  2. Are the time limits (e.g. 7 days detention for 24 hours questioning) applicable to questioning warrants too long, too short or about right?
  3. Are the time limits for questioning warrants where interpreters have been used commensurate with the limits applying otherwise?
  4. Are there sufficient safeguards including judicial review in relation to the surrender or cancellation of passports, in connexion with questi oning warrants?
  5. Is the abrogation of privilege against self-incrimination under a questioning warrant sufficiently balanced by the use immunity?
  6. Do the conditions permitting use of lethal force in enforcing a warrant sufficiently clearly require reasonable apprehension of danger to life or limb?
  7. Are the three several conditions for issuing a questioning and detention warrant stringent enough?
  8. Should anything be done about doubtful aspects of the constitutional validity of control orders and preventative detention orders under the Criminal Code?

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NSWCCL launches national fightback to roll back extraordinary ASIO powers

"The greatest assault on civil liberties in Australia since World War II." Professor George Williams AO tonight launched a national campaign led by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties to wind back the excessive and disproportionate powers given to ASIO in the decade since 9/11.

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Submission: Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Legislation 2012

NSWCCL has made a submission to the COAG Review of Australia's Counter-Terrorism Legislation 2012

Although terrorism has been a problem for hundreds of years, the Twin Tours attack in New York and the London and Bali bombings led to the passage of a great deal of legislation which might have been justified if the problem, like a war, could be expe cted to be concluded in a few years. However, it is plain—indeed, it was always plain— that terrorism is not going away. It is time to consider which of the laws we have passed should be kept, which modified, and which should be repealed.

An argument is also made for the need for an Australian Bill of Rights. Without a Bill of Rights, the courts in Australia are unable to protect people from laws that violate fundamental principles of international human rights law; that expose Australians and aliens to risks to their liberties.

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Submission: The Partial Defence of Provocation

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation.

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties reiterates its opposition to any significant changes to the existing partial defence in the absence of a compelling case to the contrary.

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Submission: to Wollongong City Council concerning the draft CCTV Program - Code of Practice (the draft Code)

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Wollongong City Council concerning the draft CCTV Program - Code of Practice (the draft Code)

NSWCCL expresses concerns that the draft code introduces "unjustified invasions of privacy". We commend the Council on its proposal for a proposed CCTV Camera Program Evaluation Committee for further review of the draft code.

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Submission: Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Criminal Law Review at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the Inquiry into the right to silence of an accused person

The proposed bill will abolish the right of an accused person to decline to answer questions by police without any adverse inferences being drawn in a subsequent trial by the prosecution or the court. To propose that silence implies guilt or prevarications is irrational and contrary to the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence.

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Submission: Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety regarding the Inquiry into Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

The submission raises a number of concerns, particularly the sharing of Australian information with foreign law enforcement agencies who may support torture/death penalty or may otherwise not employ appropriate protection and security measures concerning the highly sensitive and private nature of prospective data.

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Submission: Inquiry into potential reforms of the National Security Legislation

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) regarding the Inquiry into potential reforms of the National Security Legislation.

NSWCCL accepts the argument that there is a need to update and rework the relevant legislation in light of technological advances and successive amendments. However, neither of these drivers, in themselves, provides justification for an extension of powers or reduction in accountability for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, nor for the further erosion of individual privacy, civil liberties and democratic values.

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Submission: Statutory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW)

NSWCCL has made a submission to the Acting Director General at the Department of Attorney General and Justice regarding the statutory review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW).

The submission questions the impact of harsh penalties such as imprisonment for a relatively minor offence, particularly on predominantly young perpetrators. It also addresses the Act's allowal of the removal 'graffiti' from private property provided that it is visible from a public place - this is an intrusion upon the owners right to property, owners should be free to paint their property or have it painted as desired without third party interference based on a subjective evaluation of the artwork/decoration.

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Submission: Provision of alcohol to minors legislation

NSWCCL has made a Submission to the Provision of alcohol to minors legislation.

The submission argues that the proposed amendments extend unnecessarily beyond merely ensuring adequate supervision of liquor supply, and may unreasonably criminalise benign activities such as religious rituals involving supply of liquor to minors.

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Submission: Review of Part Eight of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001

NSWCCL has made a submission to the review of Part Eight of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001

The legislation as presently embodied in Part 8 Crimes (Repeal and Review) Act 2001 (the Act) is contrary to the common law as it has developed over generations of cases here, in England and other common law countries. It is also in contravention of Article 14(7) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Australia has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘the ICCPR’) and has made no reservations concerning double jeopardy or retrospectivity. Australia is therefore obliged ‘to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory...the rights recognised’ in the ICCPR, including the prohibitions against double jeopardy and retrospectivity.

NSWCCL proposes that the legislation be repealed.

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Submission: Inquiry on the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 [Provisions]

NSWCCL has made a submission to the inquiry on the Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 [Provisions].

CCL participated in the various consultations relating to body scanning over several years. We welcomed the significant moves that were taken to address some of the most intrusive aspects of the earlier proposals. Most significantly this included the move away from capturing raw body images to generic male and female ‘stick figure’ images and the prohibition of any storage of images or data about from the surveillance process.

Unfortunately, the proposed amendments do not deliver on all the protections for health and privacy which we understood would be Government policy.

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Submission: Inquiry into law reform issues regarding synthetic drugs

The submission discusses the proven inefficacy of drug prohibition. It also highlights the inability for persons without a chemistry background to reasonably interpret the legality of over 200 banned substances as outlined in Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), making it extremely complicated for most people to understand what they are allowed to buy, possess or sell.

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